The controversial action by Deacons against White & Case and two of its former partners finally started in the Hong Kong High Court last Wednesday (6 August).
As revealed by The Lawyer (8 July 2002), White & Case became embroiled in the battle after it poached a highly-rated insolvency team from Deacons’ Hong Kong office. Deacons alleges that the US firm’s approach to the four partners breached a confidentiality and non-solicitation clause from a 1999 merger agreement between the firms.
White & Case is vigorously defending the action.
Deacons also claims that former partners Mark Fairburn and Edward Cairns breached their fiduciary duties.
The case was due to start on 2 June, but was delayed after White & Case unsuccessfully claimed bias against the original judge, who had revealed a connection with a Deacons partner 10 years ago (The Lawyer, 14 July).
As The Lawyer was going to press, Deacons chief information officer was being cross-examined. The trial continues.